Beyonce

From rap to rock to singer-songwriter pop, 2019 was a bountiful year for all kinds of music. Lil Nas X's hit "Old Town Road" defined the year with its massive, genre-crossing popularity and sheer catchiness. But when it came to the best albums of 2019, female artists reigned.

The 62nd Grammy Awards nominations are here, and it appears to be Lizzo's year to lose.

The singer, songwriter, flutist and rapper was nominated across five of the night's top categories, including song of the year, record of the year, best new artist, best pop solo performance and best R&B performance.

Lil Nas X was nominated for best new artist, album of the year (for his debut record, 7), and record of the year, where his Gen Z opus "Old Town Road" is up against Post Malone, Bon Iver, Swae Lee, H.E.R., Ariana Grande, Lizzo and Billie Eilish.

The Lion King: The Gift, Beyoncé's executive-produced album inspired by the 2019 motion picture, has been delivered.

Best Albums Of 2019 (So Far)

Jun 25, 2019

We asked our panel of public radio writers one question: What is your favorite album of 2019 so far? There were so many ways to answer: we've heard albums that feel germane to our time, that allowed us to escape, that reconfigured a beloved artist's roots or that signaled the next wave of sound. But ultimately, what we have here are the No. 1s as picked by some of the biggest ears in the country, the albums that we just can't stop listening to, even when time, algorithms and unending news cycles demand otherwise.

The arbitrary boundaries dividing music into genres, localities and charts have all but eroded. This month's collection of songs is a small, but tremendous, piece of proof.

Mere days after Coachella 2019 — where the specter of Beyoncé's grand performance last year loomed large — Bey premiered Homecoming: A Beyoncé Film on Netflix.

Beyoncé's history-making performance at 2018's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is the gift that keeps on giving. Homecoming — billed as "A Film By Beyoncé" — is Queen Bey's latest concert documentary, unveiling a close-up perspective at the often-guarded pop superstar in the midst of preparing for her headlining festival performance.

It was the year that trolls and tabloid fodder took over. It was the year that beef became the chief marketing strategy. It was the year that hype trumped truth. And we're not even talking politics yet.

Art is identity, scream these best albums of 2018. Even when it's pure invention. The most striking things we heard this year mined personal experiences that could feel intimate as whispers or bold and overstuffed as superhero science fiction. Even in an era where listeners have been primed for the unexpected, genuine surprises arrived steadily across the last 12 months – a cascade of introductions, breakthroughs, revelations and rebirths to reward whatever precious attention you could give.

What does it mean to be influential? When the Turning the Tables team got together to create a list of the most influential women and non-binary artists of the 21st century, we found ourselves challenged by just how much ground that word – "influential" – can cover. It's a question that only led us to more questions: Who gets to decide what comprises an artist's legacy? What does it mean to shape the sound of a moment? What does it take to truly last?

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